Commander’s Action Line

Brig. Gen.
Rosanne Bailey
435th Air Base Wing commander

The Action Line is your link to help answer questions and concerns about life in the KMC.
When normal command agency channels haven’t been able to resolve your concerns, send me an e-mail. Only e-mails that are genuinely applicable across the community are addressed in the Kaiserslautern American. Send e-mails to the To receive a reply, please include your name, address (or workplace) and phone number.

I’m curious why the Euro exchange rate on base is always 2 cents worse than it is off-base. This is even at the Automatic Teller Machine on base. Are we being compensated for this difference? Why is there a difference? The other concern I had about this is we are more or less forced to use on-base banking facilities (as military pay will not be forwarded to a German bank), so we lose a lot of money every year just in exchanging money by paying our rent, utilities and phone bills through on-base banks.

What a great question that impacts the whole KMC community. As you may know, there are many fees charged at banks for services provided, whether in the United States or here in Europe. Conversion rates are a complex issue, but the simple answer is there are multiple “rates” used in the banking industry.
The Department of Defense contract with our bank allows for the accommodation rate (rate you buy currency) to be 2.5 percent above the acquisition rate (rate the bank buys the currency). However, members overseas do receive a Cost of Living Allowance. The intent of COLA is to offset various expenses resulting from living overseas. I agree, it would be great if we could have allotments into the local banks.
However, the German banking system uses different processes not compatible with our systems in accounting and finance; therefore, we are unable to make the allotment. If you wish to have your funds sent electronically to a German account, an option available to you is to open an account at a German bank and have them setup a monthly debit from your base account. It does require an extra step, but the end result is the same.